I went to the Black Gold Festival in Hazard, Ky this past weekend. I decided since I was going I would bring some of my camera equipment and capture some moments. This was my first experience with the Black Gold Festival since I was a child. I remember it being a little different several years ago, of course all things change with time I suppose. To me there seemed to be a ton of funnel cake booths and drug users who weren't use to the sun light.
I have to admit it was "semi-shady" when I first showed up everyone I passed was eyeing my equipment down like it was a piece of meat. Once they got use to seeing me walking around that calmed down pretty quickly. So I took a right on the main drag of the festival and walked past all the funnel cake booths. I found myself at the end of the festival so I turned back and went the other direction where I ran into Abe Lincoln himself, which was kind of neat.
I kept walking and I found myself in the arts and crafts section of Black Gold. kind of a neat little area more Hill folk than druggies in this part of town so I decided to make base camp there for a while. I explored the crafts tent for a while and came back out to watch a man carving monuments out of logs. Across from the wood carver was a Civil War reenactment group and a black smith. I watched the Civil War reenactment for a while and I have to admit it was very entertaining to just consist of five members (three yanks, and 2 rebs for those counting.) One of the rebs just refused to go down. He kind of reminded me of elementary school when you were playing cops and robbers and the cop got you but you say "nunt na." He just keep hobbling around.
After the reenactment I wondered over to the blacksmith's tent, I was in luck because he was about to put on a demonstration of his skills. A crowed had gathered around to watch the forge be fired up. A steel rod was protruding out of the coals. He pulled out the glowing red rod and placed it on a near by anvil where he began to make make something out of the raw steel. It was a pretty neat experience to say the least.
Over all the Black Gold Festival was a really great time, saw some interesting things and once I got out of the "shady" area it was a really nice festival. One thing I have to make a comment on though is I feel like it's kind of wondered away from it's roots. I honestly didn't see one shred of information about what the Black Gold festival was even around. Although I know it's about coal some of the other folks might not get that.